As the mediaeval capital of Russia, Vladimir is unsurprisingly rich in history, however whereas neighbouring Suzdal has retained it unspoiled landscapes and become a major tourist destination, Vladimir is now a rather industrialised city. Today most visitors to Suzdal, if they both to visit Vladimir at all, only make a small detour to Vladimir’s central square to visit its famous cathedrals. However the city is an official Golden Ring city and certainly has enough to offer to fill a whole day, especially if you also visit the neighbouring settlement of Bogolyubovo – home to one of the most famous churches in the country. Vladimir enjoys good transport links with Moscow, meaning a day trip is a perfect option to see the city. It is located on the Trans-Siberia Railway so you could even continue your journey into Siberian from here. If you have more time though you can easily combine a trip to Vladimir with a trip to Suzdal (see our guide on visiting Vladimir and Suzdal).
|Distances||220km Moscow to Vladimir;|
|Total time on train||approximately 3½ hours (Sapsan: Moscow to Vladimir return)|
|Total time on bus||approximately 4 hours (Moscow to Vladimir return); 30 minutes (Vladimir to Bogolyubovo return)|
|Accessibility for foreigners rating||4/5 - established tourist route, some English-speakers|
Getting There and Back
The easiest way to get to Vladimir from Moscow is to go on a high-speed train. There are three high-speed trains: the Sapsan, the Lastochka and the Burevestnik. All three run between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. The trains leave from Moscow’s Kursky Railway Station (from the left side of the station and not the right side from where most suburban trains leave) and take around 1¾ to 2 hours. The cheapest of the three trains is the Lastochka and the most expensive is the Sapsan. Tickets should be booked in advance of your trip. A cheaper alternative is to get a standard suburban train from Kursky Railway Station to Vladimir, but these take around 3 hours. Buses to Vladimir also leave frequently from close to Kursky Railway Station, but these can take up to 4 hours if the traffic is bad.
To get to Bogolyubovo from Vladimir, take bus No. 152 from Vladimir's main road - Moskovsky Prospekt (Московский проспект), which will take you straight to the Bogolyubsky Monastery. The buses run fairly frequently and take about 15 minutes.
Orientation and Main Sights
Once in Vladimir you should go to see the city's main attractions - the UNESCO-protected Dormition Cathedral, St Demetrius' Cathedral and the Golden Gates, these are all located close to each other around Sobornaya Ploschad (Соборная площадь) on Moskovsky Prospekt (Московский проспект).
They are within walking distance from the railway station. Another place worth visiting is the Knyaginin Convent which is also not far from Moskovsky Prospekt. In total you would need about 4 to 6 hours to see the main sights of Vladimir, including time for lunch. More information about Vladimir can be found on our Vladimir pages.
Trip to Bogolyubovo
If you have enough energy and time it is worth also visiting Vladimir's neighbouring settlement of Bogolyubovo. To do so you should get bus No. 18, No. 103, No. 126 or No. 152 from Vladimir's main road - Moskovsky Prospekt (Московский проспект). There should be a bus around every 20 minutes and it takes about 15 minutes to get to Bogolyubovo. The stops are anounced in Russian but you should be ready to get off the bus when you see the Bogolybsky Monastery's white bell tower and cathedral with blue domes. You can have a look around at the monastery which includes ruins of Grand Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky's Palace.
Afterwards walk pass the monastery in the same direction as the bus was heading and turn right at the first turn, cross the bridge over the railway tracks and walk to the Intercession Church on the Nerl - a simple but stunningly beautiful UNESCO-protected 12th-century church.
In total it is about a 1km walk. In all you need about an hour or maybe two in Bogolyubovo.
There isn't really anywhere to eat in Bogolyubovo so you should eat in Vladimir beforehand.
In Vladimir there is no special market for souvenirs, but you will be able to buy traditional Russian souvenirs in the city’s many souvenir shops or at museums. In addition there is a tourist information office located at 19A Ulitsa Bolshaya Moskovskaya (ул. Большая Московская улица, д.19а).